08/25/2014 4:14PM

Alvarado rides 1,000th winner


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jockey Junior Alvarado picked up his 1,000th career victory in North America Monday at Saratoga when he guided Skerkis to an 8 1/2-length victory in the fourth race.

“It always comes when I least expect it,” Alvarado said in the winner’s circle afterward. “I’ve been on [999] since Friday with a lot of good mounts, good horses, expecting this one will be the one.”

Alvarado went winless with 12 mounts between victories 999 and 1,000. He finished second aboard a couple of favorites in stakes on Sunday’s card.

“It seems like it was forever,” Alvarado said. “I couldn’t get it done Saturday. Yesterday, I got a good chance I couldn’t either. I wasn’t expecting it at all with this one, but that’s how it worked out.”

Earlier in the meet, Alvarado rode Moreno to victory in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes. He will ride Moreno again in Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Woodward.

Alvarado, 28, began riding in his native Venezuela in 2005 and rode his first winner in the U.S. in February 2008. He rode several years in Chicago, where he won a riding title at Arlington Park before moving his tack to New York in 2010.

Alvarado enjoyed his best year in 2013 when he rode 191 winners, including 30 stakes wins, and his horses earned $12.8 million.